The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) published new draft employment equity regulations for the ICT sector.

The draft aims to promote equity ownership by Historically Disadvantaged Persons and to promote Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE)’, Icasa said.

The group plans to introduce these changes through:

  • The implementation of a revised ICT sector code;
  • The application of a Historically Disadvantaged Persons (HDG) equity requirement;
  • Provide how-to verify compliance with Historically Disadvantaged Persons and B-BBEE requirements.

The regulations also introduce strict punishments for non-compliance, including a fine not exceeding R5 million or 10% of the company’s annual turnover.

Icasa said that compliance by existing licensees with these regulations is required within 24 months of being published.

Big employment equity shake-up

South African businesses are also preparing for planned amendments to the Employment Equity Act (EEA), which promise several significant changes to the country’s employment equity laws.

Announced by Labour minister Thulas Nxesi in July 2019, the amendment bill will regulate the setting of sector-specific employment targets to address the gross under-representation of blacks, women and persons with disabilities.

It will also ensure that an employment equity certificate of compliance becomes a precondition for access to state contracts.

A draft version of the bill published at the end of 2018 indicated that the changes being were made to speed up transformation.

The bill states that while the public sector has seen significant changes, the private sector continues to fall behind.